My Story Behind the Script: Our Accidental Octopus Themed Wedding

When I started planning our wedding, I knew there were a few things I definitely wanted and one of those things was that I wanted our wedding to capture our personalities. I wanted our guests to walk into the space and not only feel welcomed, but almost feel like they were walking into our home. Like absolutely 100% yes this is Michelle and Ory.

And while I had a pretty good sense of how to get there, I also wanted to be sure that when it came down to it, Ory had some say in the planning process too and it wasn’t me just living out my own wedding fantasies.

So a few weeks into selecting our most important vendors, I asked Ory, “What’s the one thing you want to be sure we incorporate into our wedding?”

And y’all, I just didn’t see this one coming. “Octopi.”

I’ll be honest. These out of left field responses are definitely one of the reasons I fell for Ory. To this day, it still keeps our marriage interesting. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that a small part of me started to panic. How the heck was I going to incorporate octopi into what I otherwise wanted to be a fairly classic and feminine wedding?

We immediately starting googling octopus weddings and I’ll be honest, the results weren’t really inspiring or comforting. But I couldn’t go back on my promise, so I set out to incorporate octopi into the wedding. And incorporate I did with the help of my mom, a few fabulous vendors including Alicia of A&P Designs and Laura of Ashton Events! Y’all, I was quite proud of the end result :)

And while initially octopi held no significant place in either of ours live at the time. They are now forever linked to the day we said I do.

Read on for some fabulous details (and the stories behind them!) from the best octopus themed wedding ever.

These octopi save the dates were the first place the octopus made an appearance. Alicia from  A&P Design Co  drew these vintage inspired octopi herself - incredible right? And the accompanying photo was a watercolor of our beachside reception venue. Photo by  A&P Design Co .

These octopi save the dates were the first place the octopus made an appearance. Alicia from A&P Design Co drew these vintage inspired octopi herself - incredible right? And the accompanying photo was a watercolor of our beachside reception venue. Photo by A&P Design Co.

When our guests arrived to  reception , they were greeted by this fun vintage beach sign. Lettered by me and built/painted by Ory.

When our guests arrived to reception, they were greeted by this fun vintage beach sign. Lettered by me and built/painted by Ory.

Ory comes from quite the handy family, so when we asked his dad and brother if they would build us some custom corn hole sets for the cocktail hour they were totally up for the challenge and made two different but perfectly complementary sets. And of course, one of them just had to feature the octopus :)

Ory comes from quite the handy family, so when we asked his dad and brother if they would build us some custom corn hole sets for the cocktail hour they were totally up for the challenge and made two different but perfectly complementary sets. And of course, one of them just had to feature the octopus :)

cocktail hour corn hole on the beach
My mom helped find some really cute furniture to decorate the bar area for our cocktail hour and this octopus pillow was one of my favorite subtle details.

My mom helped find some really cute furniture to decorate the bar area for our cocktail hour and this octopus pillow was one of my favorite subtle details.

wedding decor details vintage nautical
Family has always been important to both of us, so we wanted to be sure that family was a central theme in our wedding. This ode to our parents and grandparents weddings made for a great card table and guest book display and that vintage octopus plate? It was hand painted by Ory himself.

Family has always been important to both of us, so we wanted to be sure that family was a central theme in our wedding. This ode to our parents and grandparents weddings made for a great card table and guest book display and that vintage octopus plate? It was hand painted by Ory himself.

My mom found these super cute octopus paper weights which we used as place cards that I lettered. Our wedding was the very first wedding I ever did calligraphy for! I still to this day see these place cards in friends houses and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it made my heart so happy :)  A&P Design Co  also incorporated an octopus into the menus to subtly carry the theme over from our save the dates paper story.

My mom found these super cute octopus paper weights which we used as place cards that I lettered. Our wedding was the very first wedding I ever did calligraphy for! I still to this day see these place cards in friends houses and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it made my heart so happy :) A&P Design Co also incorporated an octopus into the menus to subtly carry the theme over from our save the dates paper story.

nautical organic wedding table setting

Y’all I seriously wish I could take you back to that day. But I hope these snippets gave you a sneak peak and a feel for how our octopus themed wedding was born. The biggest lesson learned during this process was that if you do want to have a theme to your wedding, it doesn’t have to be everywhere. A few well placed details can truly make all the difference.

bride and groom carlouel beach wedding

And if you’re currently in the midst of trying to incorporate what feels like apples and oranges into your big day. Know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. And if you don’t quite yet know what that way is, a solid vendor team can help you make that dream a reality <3

Happy Planning!


Stories Behind the Script: Scott & Jennifer's Story

Jenny and I met in college during a chemistry class. She was actually my TA and we bonded over (wait for it…) subscribing to Cosmopolitan. Oh what a special time to be alive :)

And what started as a very special love of getting happy mail, turned into a friendship that has now spanned over a decade.

Since those college days, we’ve both gone on to get graduate degrees, stood by each other on our wedding days, and welcome some kiddos into the mix!

I was beyond thrilled when her husband, Scott, reached out about lettering their vows for them.

wedding calligraphy vows

Jenny and Scott met through a mutual friend while Jenny was at medical school and despite having very little free time, Jenny and Scott would frequently make the 1 hour plus trek back and forth between Richmond and Charlottesville to hang out. It was one of those things where when you saw them together, you just knew this was headed for a forever kind of love.

And sure enough years later they’re married with two kids! Jenny has finally finished her training as a maternal fetal medicine doctor and Scott is pursuing a career in commercial real estate.

And selfishly, I still have them within a day’s drive (which is obviously the thing that’s most important right?)

So so grateful to have friends that entrust me with these special moments of their life <3

My Story Behind the Script: My Origin Story

Don’t worry. This post is not about my birth story or even about how I got my super hero powers. Although I’m still holding out for that letter from Hogwarts…

But rather, this is the story of where my calligraphy journey began.

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One of the questions I get asked most frequently is “How did you get into calligraphy?” And the simple answer is, “I kind of always was.”

Seriously though. From a young age, I remember sitting in school with my notebook eyeing everyone else’s handwriting and spending hours perfecting my own. And it was comforting.

Fast forward a lot of years as I was planning our wedding and I KNEW in my heart of hearts that I wanted the prettiest calligraphy on our invitations. Not something super formal, but something that would set the tone for our fun, we love you, kind of wedding. From the moment people got the save the dates, we wanted them to feel loved and to know that if they came to celebrate our marriage with us, that they would be in for a real treat.

And so I found the perfect calligrapher! That’s right. It wasn’t me, ha.

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But, you know, sometimes life had other plans. My dream calligrapher wasn’t available. And you know, I probably could have gone and found myself another person to do the lettering for me, but something just lit a fire under me and I thought, “Wait, I bet you I can do this!” so I then spent hours on the internet googling what supplies I would need and trying to figure out how the heck to do this thing.

And after hours of research, I picked up my very first nib and went to town. Now my lettering then looked nothing like it does today. So if you’re on a quest to learn, have no fear, there is still hope for you yet!

But more importantly, if you have a thing in your life that you can’t get off your heart or if a fire lights under you, just start before you convince yourself otherwise. Because let me tell you, had I thought too long and hard about it. Had I started to worry about what people would think. Had I second guessed my ability to enter a sea of other calligraphers amongst an already saturated Etsy market, I would have been denying myself so many amazing opportunities and connections to people that this little business has brought me.

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As I started lettering prints and stationery and envelopes, I quickly realized the wealth of stories that lay behind these otherwise simple seeming words. And that my friends is when I fell in love with calligraphy and why my Stories Behind the Script series began.

And while there are so many stories I could start to tell you, the most important thing I actually want to leave you with is this. Give yourself the space to write your own story. To change. To evolve. To let life pull you where it will. Because seriously, you never know what goodness may be waiting for you on the other side.




Stories Behind the Script: Katie's Story

Y'all have heard me say this before, but nothing makes me more excited to know the WHY behind a print that I'm lettering - seriously it makes it that much more special.

And when I get asked to letter something for a friend, I get just that much more excited :)

Needless to say I was thrilled when Katie asked me to letter her now husband, Mark's, favorite poem as a groom's gift.

These two lovebirds got hitched earlier this June and I couldn't be more excited for them. Congrats you two!!

PS How cute is this frame that Katie picked out for the print which now hangs in their room? I love watching a print transform from the one that leaves my little corner desk and seeing how it's displayed in it's new home :)

the laughing heart groom's gift for mark

Stories Behind the Script: Patrick's Story

Just recently, I got to see my sweet friend Danielle and it made me realize that I never got to share her little's story! A few months back we had the pleasure of celebrating little Patrick's Baptism with him and let me tell you, this kid is just the cutest (still is and growing every day!)! He was straight chilling throughout the ceremony and did not seem bothered by being fully dunked in the pool of water - always a good thing when it comes to baptisms, right?

I'm not a fan of things just for things sake, so I decided to letter this sweet baptism prayer for Patrick as a reminder of this special day in his life. I'm only a little obsessed with how it turned out and his parents were equally thrilled.

baptism prayer

Congratulations Patrick and the Hayes family! We were so grateful to be part of this joyous moment in your family's life!